Sylvester Road Elementary, Magnolia Elementary and Dougherty County Middle School are shutting down because of budget cuts. Students will be reassigned to new schools next year. For students at those closing schools and the last day brings about mixed emotions.
400 students, teachers and administrators at Sylvester Road Elementary school took part in fun activities and packing up their rooms.
Sylvester Road and Dougherty Middle are closing and Magnolia Elementary is being re- purposed as part of a cost saving plan from the Dougherty County School Board. In between the fun last day of school fun activities, teachers have been busy packing up their classrooms for good.
Although many students and teachers will be moved together, others will be separated from the ones they've grown close to over the years. "You do get really attached. especially when you get them in small groups like i do," said Principal Deborah Jones, who was sad at first.
But she respects the board's decision and sees all the benefits. "I understand, I'm a team player. I see it benefits Dougherty county as a whole. It puts more money back into the classroom since empty desks means no money."
She is also glad to know she won't lose touch with all of her students, as she transitions to her new role as Principal at Turner Elementary. "I have about 50% going with me another portion will be going to radium elementary school and the ones that are mobility are going to be dispersed. "
She encourages her students and teachers to remain positives and hang on to what's most important. "The one thing you cant change is memories so hold on to those wonderful memories we've had at Sylvester Road."
"I want to say I love the teachers and I will miss them a lot."
No word yet on the plans for the building. This plan is expected to save $2 million a year and $11 million in SPLOST money for renovations needed at the schools on the closure list.
Next school year magnolia elementary will be re-purposed into a special programs facility. Current and former students say the school played a major role in preparing them to be successful in life.
One former student says even though she's long since parted ways with the school... The closure still upset her. "My mom called me one day when I got out of class and she said I have some very disappointing news for you," said Monaye Dark. "She told me about my elementary closing down, and I was very disappointed, I was saddened, The future generation won't be able to experience what I have here, it really saddened me"
Dark says there is a silver lining. She says she's sure that students will go on and continue to excel at other schools and the teachers and faculty will now have the opportunity to enlighten a different set of students.